Electrified – German manufacturer bet on e-mobility

In a very profound article journalist Matthias Benz from Neue Züricher Zeitung (NZZ) describes the recent awaking of the German car manufacturers towards the era of e-mobility. Lately BMW has started the serial production of its e-car i3 and thereby broke fresh ground. For BMW carbon fiber enhanced synthetic material (CFK) is an essential element of its electric vehicle strategy. Due to a large number of innovations, says Matthias Benz, BMW initially managed to make CFK usable for the efficient serial production of cars. In this way the engineers can compensate the increased weight which is the result of the still quiet heavy batteries which are a crucial part of any e-car. Just now the first car dealers get the i3s and the customers are now able to test and buy the purely electric powered car from BMW.

At Wolfsburg, the decision makers have chosen a completely different strategy. According to Matthias Benz Volkswagen is not focusing on distinct models for electric vehicles. Instead VW has decided to electrify a certain number of existing models. This strategy becomes reality with an electric version of the compact car Up. Next to come is an electric version of the famous VW Golf. In the course of time, up to 40 models could be equipped with an electric engine: cars from Volkswagen, Skoda, Seat, Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini could be on that list.

NZZ

Neue Züricher Zeitung

Also Daimler is concerned with e-mobility. The vendor of Mercedes was amongst the first German brands entering the market with a purely electric driven car – the Smart Electric Drive was presented and ready for the market in 2011. However the group is neither planning to develop a mass serial product like the i3 nor following a holistic platform strategy like Volkswagen.

Expert praises courage of BMW

Especially BMW made a huge bet on e-mobility, says Matthias Benz. The Munich-based group has invested approximately 2 to 3 billion Euros in “Project i”, according to insiders. Matthias Benz praises this strategy. He welcomes the idea to develop a completely new car for a completely new way of mobility – just like Apple has developed a radically new mobile phone for the new, mobile use of the internet. By doing this BMW aims to be perceived a true pioneer of sustainable mobility. The charisma of the i3 shall have a huge impact on the reputation of the BMW brand.

Matthias Benz is convinced that the German brands can hardly afford to fail with their e-mobility efforts. In his opinion the companies have invested so much time and money that they are condemned to succeed. That is why the industry is massively lobbying for support from politics. The Swiss journalist backs the opinion of Philipp Roesler who is very skeptic about the effect of short term incentives like subsidies for consumers. E-mobility will only succeed in the long term when it comes with market conform products and solutions. According to Matthias Benz there will only be a future for e-cars when the vehicles like the i3 manage to fully convince the people.

Although the approaches of Volkswagen and Daimler might be reasonable, EIGHT is mainly sharing the concept of BMW which gets a positive feedback from many experts just like Matthias Benz. Just like the group from Munich we also focus on the development and production of products which are purposed designed and engineered for the requirements of e-mobility. Our solar charging stations Point.One and Point.One S have hardly anything in common with traditional petrol pumps or conventional electricity charging facilities. EIGHT has questioned existing ideas – just like BMW – and finally came up with an elaborated concept for e-mobility regarding materials, design and technology.

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